My mentor, Mary Pierce Brosmer – author, fearless feminist, wise leader, founder of Women Writing for (a) Change, and long-time friend – is embarking on her own conscious feminine experiment. I offer here a link describing in part a new course she will be teaching in Cincinnati: ‘ a Co-ED apprenticeship in the integration of the feminine into organizational life.’ Perhaps these ‘what-if’s’ will spark discussion here as well, online or in our own writing circles.
What if I said “leader” and it evoked an image of someone who always kept sight of: What’s in the middle? What are we gathered here to give life to?
What if she told her own stories and made space for yours? and asked, “What can we make of this?” rather than “Whose fault is it?”
What if she didn’t privilege some stories over others for the sake of political correctness or the need to appear cool or in the know?
What if she had the courage to ask, “What’s going on in the room right now? What isn’t being said? What am I feeling? What are others feeling?”
What if she spent time and energy creating spaces for people to generate meaning, to learn to take risks, to tell the truth, to make commitments?
What if she were courageous enough to integrate life-giving and soulful tools into his practice – circles, silence, flowers, poetry, stories, knowing that it might expose him to ridicule, knowing that it would expose her to ridicule (if the leader is a woman)?
What if she had enough integrity and imagination to connect measurement with meaning, innovation with tradition, growth with periods of rest (knowing, all the while, that the culture reveres and rewards disconnection, “pure genius” “scholarship”)?
In business school, we learn that the purpose of a business is to maximize shareholder return, with the market as its barometer. The market is not patient. I do wonder what it would look like if a business could view that goal in a broader context–both in the definition of shareholder and the scope of time. What gets measured, gets done, and the pressure to perform is enormous.
Thanks for weighing in, Jeannine. The Business School measure of purpose/success seems pretty narrow when you consider non-traditional alternatives!!